Cricket: Philosophical Fulton relishes the challenge

By David Leggat

Peter Fulton appeals as one of the more pragmatic types in the New Zealand team.

He knows his limitations but, at 34, is making the most of a second life in the national side and wants to enjoy the challenge of test cricket.

Fulton's test career is an even split going into Eden Park tomorrow.

His first 10 tests, from 2006 to December 2009, produced 314 runs at 20; the second 10, coming after a three-year absence and beginning against England last March, have brought 620 runs at 36.47.

It still frustrates him when things go wrong just as it did in the earlier phase of his career, but Fulton, Mark II, wants to enjoy the remainder of his test days and not die wondering.

"That's probably the thing I've tried to carry into all my cricket for the last year or so," he said yesterday.

"It probably helps being an opening bat. You've got to be philosophical because some days you're going to get a good ball, but it's something I've tried to hold on to as much as possible.

My career's not going to last forever and I just want to make every post a winner."

If he needs inspiration, Fulton can look back at his Eden Park test against England, when he became just the fourth New Zealand batsman, after Glenn Turner, Geoff Howarth and Andrew Jones, to hit two centuries in a test. Fulton's 136 and 110 were an important factor in New Zealand coming within one wicket of a remarkable test and series win.

"The biggest thing, when I look back at those two innings, is ifI can go out and be positive, playmy natural game then I can have success.

"I'm never going to be blasting the ball consistently around the park, like Corey [Anderson] or Hamish [Rutherford]. But if I play my game, have a positive mindset, then good things can happen."

Fulton, who has formed a decent opening combination with Rutherford in the past year, will chalk up his seventh test opponent tomorrow, leaving only Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe to complete a full hand.

He's happy with his buildup. He opted out of the New Zealand XI two-dayer against the tourists in Whangarei this week in favour of a game with more intensity, for Canterbury against Northern Districts in Gisborne.

He scored an unbeaten 78 in the first innings to give himself some valuable time in the middle against an attack that included two of his test teammates, Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi.

- NZ Herald

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